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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    Intercomparison of 15 aerodynamic particle size spectrometers (APS 3321): Uncertainties in particle sizing and number size distribution
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Pfeifer, Sascha; Müller, Thomas; Weinhold, Kay; Zikova, Nadezda; dos Santos, Sebastiao Martins; Marinoni, Angela; Bischof, Oliver F.; Kykal, Carsten; Ries, Ludwig; Meinhardt, Frank; Aalto, Pasi; Mihalopoulos, Nikolaos; Wiedensohler, Alfred
    Aerodynamic particle size spectrometers are a well-established method to measure number size distributions of coarse mode particles in the atmosphere. Quality assurance is essential for atmospheric observational aerosol networks to obtain comparable results with known uncertainties. In a laboratory study within the framework of ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research Infrastructure Network), 15 aerodynamic particle size spectrometers (APS model 3321, TSI Inc., St. Paul, MN, USA) were compared with a focus on flow rates, particle sizing, and the unit-to-unit variability of the particle number size distribution. Flow rate deviations were relatively small (within a few percent), while the sizing accuracy was found to be within 10 % compared to polystyrene latex (PSL) reference particles. The unit-to-unit variability in terms of the particle number size distribution during this study was within 10 % to 20 % for particles in the range of 0.9 up to 3 µm, which is acceptable for atmospheric measurements. For particles smaller than that, the variability increased up to 60 %, probably caused by differences in the counting efficiencies of individual units. Number size distribution data for particles smaller than 0.9 µm in aerodynamic diameter should only be used with caution. For particles larger than 3 µm, the unit-to-unit variability increased as well. A possible reason is an insufficient sizing accuracy in combination with a steeply sloping particle number size distribution and the increasing uncertainty due to decreasing counting. Particularly this uncertainty of the particle number size distribution must be considered if higher moments of the size distribution such as the particle volume or mass are calculated, which require the conversion of the aerodynamic diameter measured to a volume equivalent diameter. In order to perform a quantitative quality assurance, a traceable reference method for the particle number concentration in the size range 0.5–3 µm is needed.
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    Spatial, temporal and source contribution assessments of black carbon over the northern interior of South Africa
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2017) Chiloane, Kgaugelo Euphinia; Beukes, Johan Paul; van Zyl, Pieter Gideon; Maritz, Petra; Vakkari, Ville; Josipovic, Miroslav; Venter, Andrew Derick; Jaars, Kerneels; Tiitta, Petri; Kulmala, Markku; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Liousse, Catherine; Mkhatshwa, Gabisile Vuyisile; Ramandh, Avishkar; Laakso, Lauri
    After carbon dioxide (CO2), aerosol black carbon (BC) is considered to be the second most important contributor to global warming. This paper presents equivalent black carbon (eBC) (derived from an optical absorption method) data collected from three sites in the interior of South Africa where continuous measurements were conducted, i.e. Elandsfontein, Welgegund and Marikana, as well elemental carbon (EC) (determined by evolved carbon method) data at five sites where samples were collected once a month on a filter and analysed offline, i.e. Louis Trichardt, Skukuza, Vaal Triangle, Amersfoort and Botsalano. Analyses of eBC and EC spatial mass concentration patterns across the eight sites indicate that the mass concentrations in the South African interior are in general higher than what has been reported for the developed world and that different sources are likely to influence different sites. The mean eBC or EC mass concentrations for the background sites (Welgegund, Louis Trichardt, Skukuza, Botsalano) and sites influenced by industrial activities and/or nearby settlements (Elandsfontein, Marikana, Vaal Triangle and Amersfoort) ranged between 0.7 and 1.1, and 1.3 and 1.4 μg m-3, respectively. Similar seasonal patterns were observed at all three sites where continuous measurement data were collected (Elandsfontein, Marikana and Welgegund), with the highest eBC mass concentrations measured from June to October, indicating contributions from household combustion in the cold winter months (June-August), as well as savannah and grassland fires during the dry season (May to mid-October). Diurnal patterns of eBC at Elandsfontein, Marikana and Welgegund indicated maximum concentrations in the early mornings and late evenings, and minima during daytime. From the patterns it could be deduced that for Marikana and Welgegund, household combustion, as well as savannah and grassland fires, were the most significant sources, respectively. Possible contributing sources were explored in greater detail for Elandsfontein, with five main sources being identified as coal-fired power stations, pyrometallurgical smelters, traffic, household combustion, as well as savannah and grassland fires. Industries on the Mpumalanga Highveld are often blamed for all forms of pollution, due to the NO2 hotspot over this area that is attributed to NOx emissions from industries and vehicle emissions from the Johannesburg. Pretoria megacity. However, a comparison of source strengths indicated that household combustion as well as savannah and grassland fires were the most significant sources of eBC, particularly during winter and spring months, while coal-fired power stations, pyrometallurgical smelters and traffic contribute to eBC mass concentration levels year round.
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    A European aerosol phenomenology - 6: Scattering properties of atmospheric aerosol particles from 28 ACTRIS sites
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2018) Pandolfi, Marco; Alados-Arboledas, Lucas; Alastuey, Andrés; Andrade, Marcos; Angelov, Christo; Artiñano, Begoña; Backman, John; Baltensperger, Urs; Bonasoni, Paolo; Bukowiecki, Nicolas; Collaud Coen, Martine; Conil, Sébastien; Coz, Esther; Crenn, Vincent; Dudoitis, Vadimas; Ealo, Marina; Eleftheriadis, Kostas; Favez, Olivier; Fetfatzis, Prodromos; Fiebig, Markus; Flentje, Harald; Ginot, Patrick; Gysel, Martin; Henzing, Bas; Hoffer, Andras; Holubova Smejkalova, Adela; Kalapov, Ivo; Kalivitis, Nikos; Kouvarakis, Giorgos; Kristensson, Adam; Kulmala, Markku; Lihavainen, Heikki; Lunder, Chris; Luoma, Krista; Lyamani, Hassan; Marinoni, Angela; Mihalopoulos, Nikos; Moerman, Marcel; Nicolas, José; O'Dowd, Colin; Petäjä, Tuukka; Petit, Jean-Eudes; Pichon, Jean Marc; Prokopciuk, Nina; Putaud, Jean-Philippe; Rodríguez, Sergio; Sciare, Jean; Sellegri, Karine; Swietlicki, Erik; Titos, Gloria; Tuch, Thomas; Tunved, Peter; Ulevicius, Vidmantas; Vaishya, Aditya; Vana, Milan; Virkkula, Aki; Vratolis, Stergios; Weingartner, Ernest; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Laj, Paolo
    This paper presents the light-scattering properties of atmospheric aerosol particles measured over the past decade at 28 ACTRIS observatories, which are located mainly in Europe. The data include particle light scattering (σsp) and hemispheric backscattering (σbsp) coefficients, scattering Ångström exponent (SAE), backscatter fraction (BF) and asymmetry parameter (g). An increasing gradient of σsp is observed when moving from remote environments (arctic/mountain) to regional and to urban environments. At a regional level in Europe, σsp also increases when moving from Nordic and Baltic countries and from western Europe to central/eastern Europe, whereas no clear spatial gradient is observed for other station environments. The SAE does not show a clear gradient as a function of the placement of the station. However, a west-to-east-increasing gradient is observed for both regional and mountain placements, suggesting a lower fraction of fine-mode particle in western/south-western Europe compared to central and eastern Europe, where the fine-mode particles dominate the scattering. The g does not show any clear gradient by station placement or geographical location reflecting the complex relationship of this parameter with the physical properties of the aerosol particles. Both the station placement and the geographical location are important factors affecting the intraannual variability. At mountain sites, higher σsp and SAE values are measured in the summer due to the enhanced boundary layer influence and/or new particle-formation episodes. Conversely, the lower horizontal and vertical dispersion during winter leads to higher σsp values at all low-altitude sites in central and eastern Europe compared to summer. These sites also show SAE maxima in the summer (with corresponding g minima). At all sites, both SAE and g show a strong variation with aerosol particle loading. The lowest values of g are always observed together with low σsp values, indicating a larger contribution from particles in the smaller accumulation mode. During periods of high σsp values, the variation of g is less pronounced, whereas the SAE increases or decreases, suggesting changes mostly in the coarse aerosol particle mode rather than in the fine mode. Statistically significant decreasing trends of σsp are observed at 5 out of the 13 stations included in the trend analyses. The total reductions of σsp are consistent with those reported for PM2.5 and PM10 mass concentrations over similar periods across Europe.
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    Atmospheric new particle formation at the research station Melpitz, Germany: Connection with gaseous precursors and meteorological parameters
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2018) Größ, Johannes; Hamed, Amar; Sonntag, André; Spindler, Gerald; Manninen, Hanna Elina; Nieminen, Tuomo; Kulmala, Markku; Hõrrak, Urmas; Plass-Dülmer, Christian; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Birmili, Wolfram
    This paper revisits the atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) process in the polluted Central European troposphere, focusing on the connection with gas-phase precursors and meteorological parameters. Observations were made at the research station Melpitz (former East Germany) between 2008 and 2011 involving a neutral cluster and air ion spectrometer (NAIS). Particle formation events were classified by a new automated method based on the convolution integral of particle number concentration in the diameter interval 2-20 nm. To study the relevance of gaseous sulfuric acid as a precursor for nucleation, a proxy was derived on the basis of direct measurements during a 1-month campaign in May 2008. As a major result, the number concentration of freshly produced particles correlated significantly with the concentration of sulfur dioxide as the main precursor of sulfuric acid. The condensation sink, a factor potentially inhibiting NPF events, played a subordinate role only. The same held for experimentally determined ammonia concentrations. The analysis of meteorological parameters confirmed the absolute need for solar radiation to induce NPF events and demonstrated the presence of significant turbulence during those events. Due to its tight correlation with solar radiation, however, an independent effect of turbulence for NPF could not be established. Based on the diurnal evolution of aerosol, gas-phase, and meteorological parameters near the ground, we further conclude that the particle formation process is likely to start in elevated parts of the boundary layer rather than near ground level.
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    Properties of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the trade wind marine boundary layer of the western North Atlantic
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Kristensen, Thomas B.; Müller, Thomas; Kandler, Konrad; Benker, Nathalie; Hartmann, Markus; Prospero, Joseph M.; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Stratmann, Frank
    Cloud optical properties in the trade winds over the eastern Caribbean Sea have been shown to be sensitive to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. The objective of the current study was to investigate the CCN properties in the marine boundary layer (MBL) in the tropical western North Atlantic, in order to assess the respective roles of inorganic sulfate, organic species, long-range transported mineral dust and sea-salt particles. Measurements were carried out in June–July 2013, on the east coast of Barbados, and included CCN number concentrations, particle number size distributions and offline analysis of sampled particulate matter (PM) and sampled accumulation mode particles for an investigation of composition and mixing state with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). During most of the campaign, significant mass concentrations of long-range transported mineral dust was present in the PM, and influence from local island sources can be ruled out. The CCN and particle number concentrations were similar to what can be expected in pristine marine environments. The hygroscopicity parameter κ was inferred, and values in the range 0.2–0.5 were found during most of the campaign, with similar values for the Aitken and the accumulation mode. The accumulation mode particles studied with TEM were dominated by non-refractory material, and concentrations of mineral dust, sea salt and soot were too small to influence the CCN properties. It is highly likely that the CCN were dominated by a mixture of sulfate species and organic compounds.
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    Status and future of numerical atmospheric aerosol prediction with a focus on data requirements
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2018) Benedetti, Angela; Reid, Jeffrey S.; Knippertz, Peter; Marsham, John H.; Di Giuseppe, Francesca; Rémy, Samuel; Basart, Sara; Boucher, Olivier; Brooks, Ian M.; Menut, Laurent; Mona, Lucia; Laj, Paolo; Pappalardo, Gelsomina; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Baklanov, Alexander; Brooks, Malcolm; Colarco, Peter R.; Cuevas, Emilio; da Silva, Arlindo; Escribano, Jeronimo; Flemming, Johannes; Huneeus, Nicolas; Jorba, Oriol; Kazadzis, Stelios; Kinne, Stefan; Popp, Thomas; Quinn, Patricia K.; Sekiyama, Thomas T.; Tanaka, Taichu; Terradellas, Enric
    Numerical prediction of aerosol particle properties has become an important activity at many research and operational weather centers. This development is due to growing interest from a diverse set of stakeholders, such as air quality regulatory bodies, aviation and military authorities, solar energy plant managers, climate services providers, and health professionals. Owing to the complexity of atmospheric aerosol processes and their sensitivity to the underlying meteorological conditions, the prediction of aerosol particle concentrations and properties in the numerical weather prediction (NWP) framework faces a number of challenges. The modeling of numerous aerosol-related parameters increases computational expense. Errors in aerosol prediction concern all processes involved in the aerosol life cycle including (a) errors on the source terms (for both anthropogenic and natural emissions), (b) errors directly dependent on the meteorology (e.g., mixing, transport, scavenging by precipitation), and (c) errors related to aerosol chemistry (e.g., nucleation, gas-aerosol partitioning, chemical transformation and growth, hygroscopicity). Finally, there are fundamental uncertainties and significant processing overhead in the diverse observations used for verification and assimilation within these systems. Indeed, a significant component of aerosol forecast development consists in streamlining aerosol-related observations and reducing the most important errors through model development and data assimilation. Aerosol particle observations from satellite- and ground-based platforms have been crucial to guide model development of the recent years and have been made more readily available for model evaluation and assimilation. However, for the sustainability of the aerosol particle prediction activities around the globe, it is crucial that quality aerosol observations continue to be made available from different platforms (space, near surface, and aircraft) and freely shared. This paper reviews current requirements for aerosol observations in the context of the operational activities carried out at various global and regional centers. While some of the requirements are equally applicable to aerosol-climate, the focus here is on global operational prediction of aerosol properties such as mass concentrations and optical parameters. It is also recognized that the term "requirements" is loosely used here given the diversity in global aerosol observing systems and that utilized data are typically not from operational sources. Most operational models are based on bulk schemes that do not predict the size distribution of the aerosol particles. Others are based on a mix of "bin" and bulk schemes with limited capability of simulating the size information. However the next generation of aerosol operational models will output both mass and number density concentration to provide a more complete description of the aerosol population. A brief overview of the state of the art is provided with an introduction on the importance of aerosol prediction activities. The criteria on which the requirements for aerosol observations are based are also outlined. Assimilation and evaluation aspects are discussed from the perspective of the user requirements.
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    Heterogeneous N2O5 uptake coefficient and production yield of ClNO2 in polluted northern China: Roles of aerosol water content and chemical composition
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2018) Tham, Yee Jun; Wang, Zhe; Li, Qinyi; Wang, Weihao; Wang, Xinfeng; Lu, Keding; Ma, Nan; Yan, Chao; Kecorius, Simonas; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Zhang, Yuanhang; Wang, Tao
    Heterogeneous uptake of dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) and production of nitryl chloride (ClNO2) are important nocturnal atmospheric processes that have significant implications for the production of secondary pollutants. However, the understanding of N2O5 uptake processes and ClNO2 production remains limited, especially in China. This study presents a field investigation of the N2O5 heterogeneous uptake coefficient (γ(N2O5)) and ClNO2 production yield (ϕ) in a polluted area of northern China during the summer of 2014. The N2O5 uptake coefficient and ClNO2 yield were estimated by using the simultaneously measured ClNO2 and total nitrate in 10 selected cases, which have concurrent increases in the ClNO2 and nitrate concentrations and relatively stable environmental conditions. The determined γ(N2O5) and ϕ values varied greatly, with an average of 0.022 for γ(N2O5) (±0.012, standard deviation) and 0.34 for ϕ (±0.28, standard deviation). The variations in γ(N2O5) could not be fully explained by the previously derived parameterizations of N2O5 uptake that consider nitrate, chloride, and the organic coating. Heterogeneous uptake of N2O5 was found to have a strong positive dependence on the relative humidity and aerosol water content. This result suggests that the heterogeneous uptake of N2O5 in Wangdu is governed mainly by the amount of water in the aerosol, and is strongly water limited, which is different from most of the field observations in the US and Europe. The ClNO2 yield estimated from the parameterization was also overestimated comparing to that derived from the observation. The observation-derived ϕ showed a decreasing trend with an increasing ratio of acetonitrile to carbon monoxide, an indicator of biomass burning emissions, which suggests a possible suppressive effect on the production yield of ClNO2 in the plumes influenced by biomass burning in this region. The findings of this study illustrate the need to improve our understanding and to parameterize the key factors for γ(N2O5) and ϕ to accurately assess photochemical and haze pollution.
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    Evidence for ambient dark aqueous SOA formation in the Po Valley, Italy
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Sullivan, Amy P.; Hodas, Natasha; Turpin, Barbara J.; Skog, Kate; Keutsch, Frank N.; Gilardoni, Stefania; Paglione, Marco; Rinaldi, Matteo; Decesari, Stefano; Facchini, Maria Cristina; Poulain, Laurent; Herrmann, Hartmut; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Nemitz, Eiko; Twigg, Marsailidh M.; Collett, Jeffrey L. Jr.
    Laboratory experiments suggest that water-soluble products from the gas-phase oxidation of volatile organic compounds can partition into atmospheric waters where they are further oxidized to form low volatility products, providing an alternative route for oxidation in addition to further oxidation in the gas phase. These products can remain in the particle phase after water evaporation, forming what is termed as aqueous secondary organic aerosol (aqSOA). However, few studies have attempted to observe ambient aqSOA. Therefore, a suite of measurements, including near-real-time WSOC (water-soluble organic carbon), inorganic anions/cations, organic acids, and gas-phase glyoxal, were made during the PEGASOS (Pan-European Gas-AeroSOls-climate interaction Study) 2012 campaign in the Po Valley, Italy, to search for evidence of aqSOA. Our analysis focused on four periods: Period A on 19–21 June, Period B on 30 June and 1–2 July, Period C on 3–5 July, and Period D on 6–7 July to represent the first (Period A) and second (Periods B, C, and D) halves of the study. These periods were picked to cover varying levels of WSOC and aerosol liquid water. In addition, back trajectory analysis suggested all sites sampled similar air masses on a given day. The data collected during both periods were divided into times of increasing relative humidity (RH) and decreasing RH, with the aim of diminishing the influence of dilution and mixing on SOA concentrations and other measured variables. Evidence for local aqSOA formation was only observed during Period A. When this occurred, there was a correlation of WSOC with organic aerosol (R2 = 0.84), aerosol liquid water (R2 = 0.65), RH (R2 = 0.39), and aerosol nitrate (R2 = 0.66). Additionally, this was only observed during times of increasing RH, which coincided with dark conditions. Comparisons of WSOC with oxygenated organic aerosol (OOA) factors, determined from application of positive matrix factorization analysis on the aerosol mass spectrometer observations of the submicron non-refractory organic particle composition, suggested that the WSOC differed in the two halves of the study (Period A WSOC vs. OOA-2 R2 = 0.83 and OOA-4 R2 = 0.04, whereas Period C WSOC vs. OOA-2 R2 = 0.03 and OOA-4 R2 = 0.64). OOA-2 had a high O ∕ C (oxygen ∕ carbon) ratio of 0.77, providing evidence that aqueous processing was occurring during Period A. Key factors of local aqSOA production during Period A appear to include air mass stagnation, which allows aqSOA precursors to accumulate in the region; the formation of substantial local particulate nitrate during the overnight hours, which enhances water uptake by the aerosol; and the presence of significant amounts of ammonia, which may contribute to ammonium nitrate formation and subsequent water uptake and/or play a more direct role in the aqSOA chemistry.
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    Long-term cloud condensation nuclei number concentration, particle number size distribution and chemical composition measurements at regionally representative observatories
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : EGU, 2018) Schmale, Julia; Henning, Silvia; Decesari, Stefano; Henzing, Bas; Keskinen, Helmi; Sellegri, Karine; Ovadnevaite, Jurgita; Pöhlker, Mira L.; Brito, Joel; Bougiatioti, Aikaterini; Kristensson, Adam; Kalivitis, Nikos; Stavroulas, Iasonas; Carbone, Samara; Jefferson, Anne; Park, Minsu; Schlag, Patrick; Iwamoto, Yoko; Aalto, Pasi; Äijälä, Mikko; Bukowiecki, Nicolas; Ehn, Mikael; Frank, Göran; Fröhlich, Roman; Frumau, Arnoud; Herrmann, Erik; Herrmann, Hartmut; Holzinger, Rupert; Kos, Gerard; Kulmala, Markku; Mihalopoulos, Nikolaos; Nenes, Athanasios; O'Dowd, Colin; Petäjä, Tuukka; Picard, David; Pöhlker, Christopher; Pöschl, Ulrich; Poulain, Laurent; Prévôt, André Stephan Henry; Swietlicki, Erik; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Artaxo, Paulo; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Ogren, John; Matsuki, Atsushi; Yum, Seong Soo; Stratmann, Frank; Baltensperger, Urs; Gysel, Martin
    Aerosol-cloud interactions (ACI) constitute the single largest uncertainty in anthropogenic radiative forcing. To reduce the uncertainties and gain more confidence in the simulation of ACI, models need to be evaluated against observations, in particular against measurements of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Here we present a data set - ready to be used for model validation - of long-term observations of CCN number concentrations, particle number size distributions and chemical composition from 12 sites on 3 continents. Studied environments include coastal background, rural background, alpine sites, remote forests and an urban surrounding. Expectedly, CCN characteristics are highly variable across site categories. However, they also vary within them, most strongly in the coastal background group, where CCN number concentrations can vary by up to a factor of 30 within one season. In terms of particle activation behaviour, most continental stations exhibit very similar activation ratios (relative to particles 20nm) across the range of 0.1 to 1.0% supersaturation. At the coastal sites the transition from particles being CCN inactive to becoming CCN active occurs over a wider range of the supersaturation spectrum. Several stations show strong seasonal cycles of CCN number concentrations and particle number size distributions, e.g. at Barrow (Arctic haze in spring), at the alpine stations (stronger influence of polluted boundary layer air masses in summer), the rain forest (wet and dry season) or Finokalia (wildfire influence in autumn). The rural background and urban sites exhibit relatively little variability throughout the year, while short-term variability can be high especially at the urban site. The average hygroscopicity parameter, calculated from the chemical composition of submicron particles was highest at the coastal site of Mace Head (0.6) and lowest at the rain forest station ATTO (0.2-0.3). We performed closure studies based on -Köhler theory to predict CCN number concentrations. The ratio of predicted to measured CCN concentrations is between 0.87 and 1.4 for five different types of . The temporal variability is also well captured, with Pearson correlation coefficients exceeding 0.87. Information on CCN number concentrations at many locations is important to better characterise ACI and their radiative forcing. But long-term comprehensive aerosol particle characterisations are labour intensive and costly. Hence, we recommend operating migrating-CCNCs to conduct collocated CCN number concentration and particle number size distribution measurements at individual locations throughout one year at least to derive a seasonally resolved hygroscopicity parameter. This way, CCN number concentrations can only be calculated based on continued particle number size distribution information and greater spatial coverage of long-term measurements can be achieved.